By: Blonde One


Claire Smith's photo.


This week I had a very different kind of expedition. I was invited to Buckingham Palace to help the Duke of Edinburgh and the Earl and Countess of Wessex celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. It was a fabulous day but required some careful and unusual planning.


Instead of scraping mud off boots I had to polish my patent leather flats.

Instead of biting my nails short I had to apply nail varnish.

Instead of tying my hair back out of eyes I spent 20 mins straightening it.

I didn’t have to pack millions of ‘just in case’ items into rucksack but instead I put my lippy and comb into my new Radley handbag.

When it came to clothing I couldn’t choose my tried and tested comfy trousers and merino top, but instead chose a blue floral dress.

My planning didn’t require a route card but train tickets and Google maps.

Despite all of this I arrived at the right place, at the right time, wearing the right things! It was a very exciting day and I felt very privileged to be at her Majesty’s place in the company of such acclaimed visitors. The gardens were full of people who had achieved amazing things in the fields of space, journalism, music, sport, mountaineering, and many others, as well as hundreds of Gold Award participants. I was presented by a commemorative plaque for our school to acknowledge the fact that we are part of the Award by the BBC journalist Naga Munchetty. And of course the Duke was on top form as usual, spending lots of time chatting to the Gold Award holders.

imageview (2)

Sometimes being a DofE Manager is tough (tricky decisions have to be made, very occasionally parents aren’t as supportive as I would like, managing work/DofE/life balance is almost impossible) but this event more than compensates for it all.